Monarch butterflies are those friendly beautiful butterflies that come and fly around us in the summer. They can live up to 5 months and whenever they come to us, they make our days brighter. This little butterfly was in trouble, and his days were numbered. But Romy McCloskey thought of solving his wing problem by performing surgery.
Yes, there is such thing as a surgery in butterflies’ wings and it’s pretty efficient! Here’s how it all happened…
20. Raising Butterflies
One day, Romy McCloskey found 3 caterpillars on a bush in her yard. Before the frost hit, she decided to give them a helping hand. She would never believe that her house will soon transform into an operating room…
19. A Personal Meaning
‘I have always had a love for butterflies’, said Romy. That’s because, over 20 years ago, before her mother passed away, she said that ‘whenever you see a butterfly, know that I’m there with you and that I love you.’
18. 20 Years Ago…
Romy’s mother, Suzanne, was diagnosed with breast cancer and, unfortunately, her case was terminal. Romy said that her mother was loving, optimistic and patient: ‘She always seemed to see life through rose-tinted glasses’, and as you can imagine, her love of nature was passed on to Romy.
17. Always There With Her
Her mother grew a beautiful garden and Romy grew around fields of wildflowers and butterflies: ‘She had wonderful gardens, full of wildlife. It was her favorite place and my favorite place to be with her.’ Keeping her memory fresh, Romy decided to grow butterflies.
16. Beautiful Butterflies
Monarch butterflies are very beautiful. Romy describes them as being ‘a vivid orange and black with little dots on it, with a wonderful black fuzzy body, almost like a little fur coat. They’re quite delicate but very feisty’. Then one day she found an injured butterfly. See it for yourself at #12.
15. A New Family
Romy carried on with her life and she married and has two sons. They live in Texas and she works as a costume designer and a hand embroiderer, and we must admit that her works are breathtaking! She does get a lot of inspiration from her little wildlife she nurtures in her backyard!
14. One Sunny Summer Day
One day, Romy found three caterpillars that she knew they’d become Monarch butterflies. So she remembered her mother’s words and decided to buy some plants to attract more of these beautiful beings. She even saved them from frost!
13. Under the Housecat Close Attention
Romy took eight eggs of butterflies before the frost hit and incubated them. The housecat also had an eye on the fresh green chrysalis and when Romy changed the food one day, the cat gave a little swat to one of the chrysalises. The butterfly was in trouble…
12. A Big Hole
The butterfly came out but his wings were attached to the chrysalis. When it tried to get out, a wing was left with a big hole. Romy knew that she would have to euthanize the poor butterfly, but a friend sent her a video of how to repair the wing. You won’t believe what she did next!
11. Transplanting a Butterfly Wing
These photos were in the video, and they showed how to perform surgery on a butterfly’s wing. Fortunately for the beautiful insect, the procedure didn’t hurt it. As Romy was already working with delicate materials as a hand embroider, it was easy to perform the surgery.
10. Household Items
She needed these items to start fixing the butterfly: a towel, a wire hanger, contact cement, a toothpick, a cotton swab, scissors, tweezers, talc powder, and a butterfly wing from one of the butterflies that passed away a few days before.
9. No Pain Receptors
Butterfly wings are similar to human nails or hair, so they don’t feel pain because there are no pain receptors. Looking at the video tutorial, McCloskey starts by immobilizing the butterfly with a piece of wire. She then stretches the wings…
8. Performing Micro-Surgery
With such a delicate creature, Romy chooses small tools and, holding up a pair of scissors she says: ‘Right buddy, let’s see if we can save you’.
7. Intricate Work
‘My profession requires small, intricate work, said Romy. ‘With a little patience and a steady hand, I fit the new wings to my little guy’. The donor wing was carefully attached and glued with a bit of contact cement, and then dusts the wings with powder to stop them from sticking.
6. In Convalescence
After the surgery, the butterfly was left in a cage to rest. He also received nectar made from raw honey, water, and some sports drink. You won’t believe what happened the next day!
5. Give it a Go
The next day, on a perfect Texas weather, Romy took out the butterfly to see if he was able to fly. Fortunately, the patient took ‘a quick lap around the yard and a little rest on a bush, he was off! A successful surgery and outcome!’ said Romy.
4. ‘Good luck’
‘Bye, little buddy!’, said Romy happily. Seeing him flying away was an incredible experience. And she believes that fixing a butterfly’s wing is something that happens in a lifetime. This is what Romy said about the case of deformed wings in butterflies.
3. Romy Knows Her Butterflies
This was the case of a misfortune, but some butterflies come out with deformed wings because of parasites. She would never release those butterflies in the wild because they are contaminated and she doesn’t want that to spread.
2. Romy Passed Her Love to Her Sons
Every time when the metamorphosis gets to the last stage, Romy’s sons rush from school to watch butterflies getting out and spreading their beautiful wings.
1. Three Dozen Butterflies
Since she started growing and caring for butterflies, Romy said that she has released almost three dozen Monarchs and she’s also growing milkweed and has five varieties at the moment.
We don’t know about you, but we would love to live in Romy’s garden and be surrounded by these beautiful and puffy butterflies!